SEO Insights – October 2021 Report
When considering what constitutes ‘quality content’, it’s generally assumed that this is referring to the textual element part of a page. But Google’s view of quality content goes further than just the words.
In a recent Google Hangout, Google’s John Mueller commented:
“When it comes to the quality of the content, we don’t mean like just the text of your articles. It’s really the quality of your overall website. And that includes everything from the layout to the design.
Like, how you have things presented on your pages, how you integrate images, how you work with speed, all of those factors they kind of come into play there.”
This is an interesting comment from John although it’s not exactly new news. However, it is good to revisit this and to better understand what truly makes content ‘quality’.
Google’s algorithm is phenomenally complex and there is no single factor that makes a page rank well. Ultimately, Google’s mission is to return the most relevant search results for any given search query. In order to do this, Google has to take into account a multitude of ranking factors, with relevancy being initially the most important one.
Once Google deems a page to be relevant for a search query it then has to rank it amongst all of the other relevant pages in order of authority, expertise and trust. As part of this process, the quality of the content also becomes a ranking factor.
Relevancy will generally beat most other signals. However, Google doesn’t always get it right and often ranks authority sites higher even if the content is not as relevant or as good as a less authoritative page.
When we consider content quality what we are really considering is the user experience. A fast-loading page, good quality images, a logical page layout with prioritised content positioning on mobile, a good-sized font for easy reading, links that stand out from normal text – these are just some of the factors that Google is likely looking at when assessing the quality of a web page.
With a focus on the user, any page can be made to appear as being high quality in order to match the quality of the written text itself.
However, relevancy will always prevail!
Google recently posted on their blog that they are starting to roll out continuous scrolling of search results on mobile.
Initially this is being rolled out only for English searches in the US but it’s likely to appear in UK results very shortly afterwards.
This is actually a very interesting new development. Typically, most search traffic is generated by the top 3 results, with clickthrough rates decreasing significantly the further down you go.
There is a huge drop-off in traffic for sites ranking on page two compared to those on page one. However, with this new continuous scroll feature, it will be easier and quicker to get to the second page of results. Users won’t even know they are on the next page; they will just keep scrolling.
It will be very interesting to see what impact this new feature has on websites that rank on page two or lower and whether seamless scrolling this will generate more traffic for those websites. We’ll have to wait a bit to find out, but this is a new development that we’ll be keeping a close eye on.